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Why HDMI 2.1 Isn’t A Required Upgrade When Choosing a New TV for Next Gen Consoles

Many companies attempting to keep the costs down on 4K televisions are letting consumers know up front that their devices do not have HDMI 2.1, but instead carry the standard HDMI 2.0. For many, they instantly begin to worry about not having HDMI 2.1, but is it really that big of deal, at least right now? We don’t think so, and here is why.


We’ve been communicating a lot with Hisense Canada over the past few weeks, really trying to figure out how they produce these great, affordable 4K television sets. One of the marked differences between a 55 inch 4K Hisense TV and a similar capacity TV from, say, Samsung, is the HDMI ports onboard the devices. Samsung might be using fully (or partial) HDMI 2.1 in their TVs, while companies like Hisense are opting for straight 2.0 across all ports. What’s the difference?

In a 2019 article, this is what CNET had to say about HDMI 2.1:

  • The physical connectors and cables the same as today’s HDMI.
  • Improved bandwidth from 18 Gbps (HDMI 2.0) to 48 Gbps (HDMI 2.1).
  • Can carry resolutions up to 10K, frame rates up to 120fps.
  • New cables are required for higher resolutions and/or frame rates.
  • The first products will arrive in 2019.

So what does this mean? If money is in excess, you might be able to afford that more expensive TV, running you 2000+ plus after you factor in taxes and such. But do you need it when the Xbox Series X and Series S, and the PS5 drop later this year? Probably not.

While the multiplayer in Gears and HALO is confirmed to run at 4K 120FPS (which is within the possibility of HDMI 2.1), the single player of both titles, as well as for the new Spider-man title, are all being capped at 4K 60fps. As it currently stands, HDMI 2.0 is capable of handling 4K 60fps, and as it appears most launch titles will be opting for 4k 60fps as their maximums (at least in single player experiences), is there a need to drop big dollars now?

We are hoping to test inexpensive 4K TVs as we head into the launch of Xbox Series X / S and PS5, so we will let you know what we think. But as far as the tech goes, it doesn’t appear as if HDMI 2.0 will limit you much early on.


Article By

blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel